Kokio ke`o ke`o (12 in x 12 in)
oil on wood, 2017
12 in x 12 in
gold leaf floater frame (13.5 in wide with frame)
There are 200 species of hibiscus found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The Hawaiian islands are home to five endemic species, all of which are considered rare or endangered. Kokio ke`o ke`o (meaning “white hibiscus") has a crimson column of slender stamens and fuzzy, brushlike red stigmas above five white petals. The petals’ texture is softly creped and tinged with pink at the interior. A sweet, subtle perfume emanates from the flowers. Found only in the Wai`anae and Ko`olau mountains on O`ahu, its native mesic and wet forest mountain habitat is increasingly rare.